After browsing over around Laptop Magazine today, I realized something very odd — I’ve never read a Fujitsu netbook review. I suppose that’s because the first one only hit U.S. shores last summer, but it’s still odd. It’s a moot point now anyway since Laptop gave the MH380 a solid hands-on and awarded the device 3 out of 5 stars. On the plus side for this $449 model is a 1366 x 768 high resolution display, but bear in mind that like all of the other new Atom N450 netbooks, graphics are powered by the GMA 3150 from Intel. Laptop noticed video playback problems when watching Hulu in a full-screen mode. Note that this limitation is inherent in the processor platform, so nearly all netbooks — not just this Fujitsu model — face the same challenge. Also on the plus side is the battery life offered by this platform, with six-hours of run-time during Laptop’s test of continuously surfing over Wi-Fi. Based on the performance benchmarks, the MH380 didn’t really “wow” or disappoint as compared to category averages — notable deviations were fast disk transfer rates but a slow boot-time of 79 seconds to start up Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition.
At the end of the day, the device looks like your average netbook of today in terms of performance. But looks also means aesthetics and design. Overall, Laptop liked the package Fujitsu put together, with some minor caveats:
“Weighing 3.0 pounds and measuring 1.9 inches thick, the MH380 is one of the heaviest and chunkiest netbooks. The fact that the six-cell battery juts out from the bottom of the system doesn’t help matters, either. Still, this is one of the more attractive netbooks we’ve laid eyes on, thanks to the glossy ruby red lid and deck. This chassis also has modern rounded edges and a classy chrome treatment on the inner hinge.”
The keyboard looks top notch, but the size of it comes at what I think is too high a price. The mousepad is a scant 1.8 x 1.3 inches and the mouse buttons are, according to Laptop, the size of “tic tacs.” Although it’s easy enough to use a mouse through USB or Bluetooth, I wouldn’t want to be forced to use one. Performance and video issues aside, I think the track pad alone would keep me from buying the MH380. Then again, I’m spoiled when it comes to netbook trackpads.
Image courtesy of Laptop Magazine
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